Baking/ European/ Recipes/ Snack

Lingue di Gatto – Italian Cat Tongue Cookies

30/06/2022

You’ll love this super easy lingue di gatto recipe. Light and crunchy, these cute little cat tongue cookies are the perfect treat with coffee or ice cream!

Large bowl filled with fresh Lingue Di Gatto biscuits.

Why We Love This

Lingue di gatto are deliciously thin and crispy Italian biscuits that bake in minutes. They’re delicately sweet and totally moreish – with the perfect crunch, we dare you to stop at just one!

All you need are easy pantry staples, and you can tweak the recipe to make it your own with lots of different flavour combinations. 

Enjoy your freshly baked cat tongue cookies as a light snack on their own, or get creative and turn them into cookie sandwiches (like ginger kisses) with chocolate or jam and cream in the middle.

Related: Cantucci – Italian Almond Biscotti / Chewy Italian Almond Cookies

Lingue Di Gatto biscuit being dipped in chocolate.

What is Lingue Di Gatto? 

Lingue di gatto are a type of thin Italian biscuit or cookie made with egg whites, butter and icing sugar. The name translates as ‘tongue of the cat’, or ‘cat tongue cookies’.

Cat tongue cookies are said to have originated in Austria from the well known chocolate brand, Lindt. Their version was originally covered in chocolate, white the Italian and French versions (known as langue de chat) are not.

The thin wafer style biscuits are now popular across Europe – in particular France and Italy – and Asia including Japan and the Philippines. They’re enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea.

We first learnt this lingue di gatto recipe in the Italian countryside, near the city of Bologna from Chef Roberta at a charming farmhouse homestay. She also taught us her amazing recipes for strawberry vanilla muffins!

What You’ll Need

  • Egg Whites – For best results, use room-temperature eggs. 
  • Flour – Regular plain / all purpose flour. 
  • Icing Sugar – Aka powdered sugar. This super-fine sugar is essential to the smooth and crispy texture of the cookies, so we don’t recommend any other substitutes.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted both work fine, so use whichever you prefer.
  • Vanilla Extract – Optional for extra flavour. Also known as vanilla essence in Australia.
Ingredients laid out to make Lingue Di Gatto, also known as Langues de Chat in French.

How to make Lingue Di Gatto / Cat Tongue Cookies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C / 360˚F. Pop your softened butter into a large mixing bowl and add the icing sugar. Mix, mix, mix with a wooden spoon until creamed.
  2. Add half the egg whites and mix, then half the sifted flour and mix until combined. Repeat for the remaining egg whites, then the remaining flour, until you’ve got a soft, sweet and well mixed dough.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and use a piping bag to pipe out your dough into 6-7 cm lengths, leaving plenty of space between each for the cookies to spread. Tip: You can make your own homemade piping bag using baking paper if you need – watch our recipe video where we show you how.
  4. Bake in the oven for around 5-8 minutes, but keep an eye on them and make sure you pull them out of the oven as soon as the edges turn golden brown. Transfer your cat tongue cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
  5. Optional: Melt chocolate into a smooth paste, then dip one end of each cooled lingue di gatto cookie and pop aside to set.
Close up pile of Lingue Di Gatto in a bowl.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Shape – For the best results, use a piping bag to pipe out the thin cookie batter into strips about 6-7cm / 2.5 in long. If you don’t have a real piping bag, you can make your own – see our recipe video for a quick demo. Don’t overfill your piping bag, use only around 2-3 scoops of the batter at a time.
  • Spacing – Leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread out as they cook.
  • Colour – Keep an eye on the biscuits as they cook. When they just start to brown, take them out of the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack. This way they’ll keep their delicious golden brown colour and crispy texture without becoming overcooked.
  • Texture – For a softer result, bake for around 5 minutes only. For a crispier result, cook for 8-10 minutes until a rich golden brown.
  • Storage – Cat tongue cookies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container, although they are known to lose their crispy snap of crunchiness within the first 24 hours. So the quicker you eat them, the better!

FAQs

What should I serve with these cookies?

In Italy and France, lingue di gatto cookies are traditionally enjoyed with espresso coffee or iced coffee, ice-cream or gelato. Why not pair them as a crunchy counterpart to chocolate mousse or fruit salad for dessert? You can also turn them into cookie sandwiches with melted chocolate, jam or cream in the middle, similar to matchsticks.

What can I do with leftover egg yolks?

Don’t throw away those leftover egg yolks, they’re super useful! Bake up a batch of almond crescent cookies, add them to scrambled eggs or kewpie mayonnaise, or use them to make sweet shortcrust pastry for chester squares or pumpkin pie.

Variations

  • Tweak the Flavour – Amp up your next batch of lingue di gatto with extra flavourings like almond extract, cinnamon, citrus zest, vanilla extract, maple syrup or even matcha green tea! 
  • Coat with Chocolate – Dip your freshly baked cat tongue cookies in melted chocolate. Make sure the chocolate has fully melted so the biscuits don’t break when trying to coat.
  • Play with Shapes – These cookies are slightly bendable when you first take them out of the oven, so you could try bending them into twists and curls for a creative look.
Italian Butter Cookies (Lingue Di Gatto) - Thin and crispy, these moreish biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea or mid-morning snack. | wandercooks

More delicious baking fun to try next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Pile of crispy, thin Italian biscuits in white bowl.

Lingue di Gatto – Italian Cat Tongue Cookies

You’ll love this super easy lingue di gatto recipe. Light and crunchy, these cute little cat tongue cookies are the perfect treat with coffee or ice cream!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 67kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

Optional:

  • 100 g melting chocolate

Instructions

  • First step is to preheat your oven to 180˚C / 360˚F.
  • Pop your softened butter into a large mixing bowl and add the icing sugar. Mix, mix, mix with a wooden spoon until creamed.
    100 g butter, 100 g icing sugar / powdered sugar
  • Add half the egg whites and mix, then half the sifted flour and mix until combined. Repeat for the remaining egg whites, then the remaining flour, until you’ve got a soft, sweet and well mixed dough. Add vanilla extract (or any other flavourings, if using) and give it one last stir.
    3 egg whites, 100 g plain flour / all purpose flour, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper and use a piping bag to pipe out your dough into 6-7 cm lengths, leaving plenty of space between each for the cookies to spread. Tip: You can make your own homemade piping bag using baking paper if you need – watch our recipe video where we show you how.
  • Bake in the oven for around 5-8 minutes, but keep an eye on them and make sure you pull them out of the oven as soon as the edges turn golden brown. Transfer your cat tongue cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
  • Optional: Melt chocolate into a smooth paste, then dip one end of each cooled lingue di gatto cookie and pop aside to set.
    100 g melting chocolate

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Egg Whites – For best results, use room-temperature eggs. 
  • Flour – Regular plain / all purpose flour. 
  • Icing Sugar – Aka powdered sugar. This super-fine sugar is essential to the smooth and crispy texture of the cookies, so we don’t recommend any other substitutes.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted both work fine, so use whichever you prefer.
  • Vanilla Extract – Optional for extra flavour. Also known as vanilla essence in Australia.
  • Shape – For the best results, use a piping bag to pipe out the thin cookie batter into strips about 6-7cm / 2.5 in long. If you don’t have a real piping bag, you can make your own – see our recipe video for a quick demo. Don’t overfill your piping bag, use only around 2-3 scoops of the batter at a time.
  • Spacing – Leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread out as they cook.
  • Colour – Keep an eye on the biscuits as they cook. When they just start to brown, take them out of the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack. This way they’ll keep their delicious golden brown colour and crispy texture without becoming overcooked.
  • Texture – For a softer result, bake for around 5 minutes only. For a crispier result, cook for 8-10 minutes until a rich golden brown.
  • Storage – Cat tongue cookies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container, although they are known to lose their crispy snap of crunchiness within the first 24 hours. So the quicker you eat them, the better!
  • Tweak the Flavour – Amp up your next batch of lingue di gatto with extra flavourings like almond extract, cinnamon, citrus zest, vanilla extract, maple syrup or even matcha green tea! 
  • Coat with Chocolate – Dip your freshly baked cat tongue cookies in melted chocolate. Make sure the chocolate has fully melted so the biscuits don’t break when trying to coat.
  • Play with Shapes – These cookies are slightly bendable when you first take them out of the oven, so you could try bending them into twists and curls for a creative look.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Lingue di Gatto – Italian Cat Tongue Cookies
Amount per Serving
Calories
67
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Cholesterol
 
7
mg
2
%
Sodium
 
29
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
18
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
83
IU
2
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Lingue di Gatto - Italian Cat Tongue Cookies

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Nha
    03/12/2016 at 4:47 pm

    Love how simple this recipe is, but mine didn’t turn out crispy at all. In fact, they were chewy :(. Any ideas why?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/12/2016 at 8:59 am

      Hey Nha, hmmm let’s see. How much dough did you pipe out onto your tray? Perhaps there was too much and they became too thick, and didn’t cook all the way through? Try using a really thin tip on your piping bag and aim for 1 cm thick strips of dough and see how that goes. Good luck, and let us know if you need any more help! 🙂

  • Reply
    Marsha
    27/11/2016 at 1:41 am

    I’m not a baker..but would love to try these,
    what is a cookers pipe ?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      28/11/2016 at 12:21 pm

      Hey Marsha, you’re looking for a piping bag like this one ( <- p.s. that's an affiliate link. 🙂 ) They help you form the thin little strip of dough to create the cookies. In a pinch if you don't have a piping bag, you can cut the corner off a clean/unused sandwich bag and use that to squeeze out the dough into shape, although they're not as durable so it might break. But definitely a handy hack to keep in mind if you don't have a piping bag available!

  • Reply
    Jenni
    09/11/2016 at 12:08 pm

    5 stars
    Love these cookies! They are so delicious!! Love the soft yet crunchy texture!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/11/2016 at 11:36 am

      Totally agree Jenni! Love having these with our tea or coffee while we work. The perfect little snack. 😀

  • Reply
    Platter Talk
    09/11/2016 at 11:24 am

    5 stars
    Those little gems are right up my ally!!! I would like them dipped or plain. ( :

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/11/2016 at 11:38 am

      Awesome to hear! And yep, totally agreed. We did the test dip, and I think tea is currently in the lead for us!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    09/11/2016 at 11:13 am

    5 stars
    Those dipped in chocolate would be amazing! What a great little treat next to a cappuccino 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/11/2016 at 5:00 pm

      Or IN the cappuccino! 😉

  • Reply
    Heather @Boston Girl Bakes
    09/11/2016 at 3:20 am

    5 stars
    Simplicity in baking sometimes yields just the tastiest results! And I totally would have dunked them in chocolate too 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/11/2016 at 5:00 pm

      Here here Heather!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    08/11/2016 at 7:39 pm

    5 stars
    How beautiful and delicate are these?! And dipped into that chocolate – perfection!!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/11/2016 at 4:59 pm

      Delicate’s a great word actually! There’s nothing quite like it’s super thin, crispy, sweet goodness. ESPECIALLY with chocolate!

  • Reply
    Cristie | Little Big H
    08/11/2016 at 1:27 pm

    4 ingredients – bonus! I’m so making these and dipping them into a big bowl of chocolate – yum.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      10/11/2016 at 4:57 pm

      Sounds like a very good plan! 😀

  • Reply
    Martin @ The Why Chef
    04/11/2016 at 5:12 pm

    5 stars
    I’m making these! Proper show off food when you have guests round and you serve them up with their coffee! 😀

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/11/2016 at 5:41 pm

      Woo hoo, get dipping Martin. They’re so good with coffee!

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    04/11/2016 at 7:02 am

    Cat’s Tongue — that’s what lingue di gatto means. If nothing else Italian’s have colorful names for their dishes. I’ve never heard of these cookies but there are so many regions and recipes in Italy. I’m definitely making them. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/11/2016 at 5:39 pm

      You’re welcome Marisa, I can’t wait for you to try them. Let us know how they turn out! 🙂 x

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